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More To Go: Several projects in Kashmir at halt for money or land

Mudassir Kuloo




Srinagar, Dec 4: The governor administration might have approved 1,200 small projects in the state, yet several major projects in Kashmir are stuck at various stages for want of funds and land.

For the last one month, the High-Powered Committee (HPC) constituted for ensuring assured funding to languishing projects cleared around 1,200 projects involving a cumulative investment of Rs 2,720.87 crore.

The governor administration has, however, not taken any decision on several major projects lingering for the last so many years.

The government has, for instance, decided not to fund a decade-old project for widening an arterial passage in the capital city—Syed Meerak Shah-Zakura road—under the first phase of newly-carved scheme.

An official of Roads and Buildings Department said this road widening project would not come under the languishing projects in the first phase.

“This project is facing financial implication for land acquisition. The work has either been stopped or going at slow pace at few places,” the official said.

The incompletion of the project is affecting the traffic movement, causing inconvenience to the public.

In 2009, the then-authorities started expansion of the Syed Meerak Shah Road from Dalgate to Zakura, primarily for facilitating smooth flow of vehicular movement through congested areas of the old city.

The widening project for the 10.33 kilometer road estimated at Rs 336.24 crore was aimed to serve as key surface link to old city Srinagar, Hazratbal shrine and the University of Kashmir.

Chief Engineer Roads and Buildings Department, Kashmir, Sami Arif, said there were several projects facing hurdles due to land acquisition.

“They will be taken up for execution later,” he said, without elaborating the details.

Similarly, the state needs Rs 759 crore more to purchase land for the semi-ring road projects in Srinagar and Jammu cities.

A source said farmers were not willing to sell land at the prices offered by the government.

The work on the Rs 3,833-crore project, whose foundation was laid by the Prime Minister in May, has slowed down because of the fund shortage.

About 12,450 kanals of land is to be acquired for the roads, of which 10,911 kanals are agricultural land.

Similarly, over two dozen projects, each worth Rs 1,000 crore or more, taken up under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) three years ago are stuck at various stages.

For instance, the detailed project reports have been submitted in few projects of the 13 road and tunnel projects.

For completion of projects, Anantnag district requires Rs 200 crore, while Baramulla district needs Rs 104 crore for completion of the projects.

“There has been hardly any progress in these projects,” the source said.




Clear message to Modi that people are unhappy

Press Trust of India



New Delhi, Dec 11: Buoyed by Congress’ resurgence, party president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the assembly poll outcome is a “clear message” to the Modi government that people are not happy with it and time has come for a change while asserting that his party will also win in 2019.
Prime Minister Narender Modi got a massive mandate but refused to listen to “heartbeat of the country”, Gandhi noted, and said there are serious questions being asked about the future of country’s youngsters as there was a sense of discontentment and inability to see the future.
Thanking people and party workers for party’s good performance in three states of Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, he said, “It’s now time for change. We are going to provide these three states with a vision for overall development”. However, he added that they would have liked to do better in Telangana.
Hitting at the BJP for its often-stated remark of Congress-mukt (Congress-free) Bharat, Gandhi said,”the BJP has a certain ideology and we will fight against it. We have won this elections, we will also win in 2019. However, we do not want to get rid of anyone, ‘hum kisikomuktnahikarnachahtein’.”
Asked about the selection of chief ministers in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, he said there will not be any issue and it will be done smoothly.
There is a clear message to Prime Minister Modi that people are not happy with his decisions, including demonetisation and those pertaining to farmers and youth, he said, adding the BJP has failed to provide a vision for the country going forward.
Asserting that the process of loan waiver for farmers will start as soon as Congress governments are formed, he, however, said the loan waiver is a measure, not a solution to farmers’ distress.
Gandhi was named to lead the Congress exactly a year ago and took over the charge from his mother Sonia Gandhi a few days later.
Rahul Gandhi also praised Congress workers and likened them to ‘babbarsher’ (lions).

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Accept people’s mandate with humility: PM Modi




New Delhi, Dec 11: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday congratulated the Congress, Telangana’s K CHandrashekarRao and the Mizo National Front for their victories.

He tweeted: “We accept the people’s mandate with humility. I thank the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for giving us the opportunity to serve these states. The BJP Governments in these states worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people.

“Congratulations to the Congress for their victories. Congratulations to KCR Garu for the thumping win in Telangana and to the Mizo National Front (MNF) for their impressive victory in Mizoram,” he added.

The BJP has suffered serious reverses in the heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh at the hands of the Congress. In Telangana and Mizoram, its performance has been dismal, despite high hopes of a good showing.

“Victory and defeat are an integral part of life. Today’s results will further our resolve to serve people and work even harder for the development of India,” he said in another tweet

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‘Winds of change’ will bring good days to JK: Farooq

Kashmir News Service



Srinagar, Dec 11:National Conference president and former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah Tuesday said that BJP’s defeat in the Assembly polls were the “winds of change” that will bring “good days to Jammu and Kashmir.

Exuding confidence that the poll results in five states of India will have a good bearing on all the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah, as per KNS, said: “I believe winds of change will bring good days to the people of Jammu and Kashmir also.”

“Using the name of ‘Bhagwan Ram’ for winning elections has collapsed BJP. People have rejected Mandir-Masjid politics and upheld secular politics in the country. For four years they didn’t remember a temple to be built in the name of “Bhagwan Ram” but in election time they remember ‘Bhagwan Ram’,” he said.

Farooq added: “People have voted against betrayal of promises, be it GST, demonetization or any other policy decision taken during last four years. The value of Indian rupee has gone down, commitment of transferring fifty lakhs in the bank accounts of people and demonetization are the factors that have contributed to the defeat of BJP in the five states.”

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